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So where are the Canucks putting their affiliate? UPD: Utica NY

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05-14-2013, 05:19 PM
  #1
paul-laus
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So where are the Canucks putting their affiliate? UPD: Utica NY

With yesterday's announcement that the Canucks won't leave their affiliate in Peoria for next year, does anyone have a clue if they are operating an affiliate this coming season?

Utica? Seattle/Tacoma? Or dormant? The Heat are staying in Abbotsford for next season and Rogers Arena Management have ruled out an AHL affiliate sharing that arena with the Canucks. Does anyont have a clue what's going on?

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05-14-2013, 07:43 PM
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Mightygoose
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According to the article below, the league has given the Canucks a 30 day extension - June 12.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/...506/story.html

If still nothing, then it's a $150,000 fee to the league and the team goes dormant.


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05-14-2013, 11:01 PM
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BlueRoyal14
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That's what I would like to know. I want the Canucks to find a location quickly so we can find out the name of the team and see their jersey designs.

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05-15-2013, 09:33 AM
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Orca Smash
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Well dreger, and friedman are hearing utica.

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05-15-2013, 12:23 PM
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aparch
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If it's Utica, I can't see them spending too much on jersey costs since it's a temporary home (most likely).

The "Utica Canucks" doesn't make sense, but maybe True North has a couple dozen Mooose jerseys in the basement of the MTS Centre for cheap?

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05-15-2013, 12:53 PM
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Guess Utica would make sense as a stop gap, as that's where the Flames apparently want to move their team. So just need to do it as a one year thing and then flip locations next year. Could even do the realignment this offseason to hold true for beyond, just change the names in 2014-15.

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05-15-2013, 02:38 PM
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SenorChifles
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I think they are looking closer to home - can't see them putting the team in Utica when Peoria was a lot closer.
Would not be surprised to see the team pop up in Washington or Oregon. New territory for the AHL and can open the door next season for more west coast teams.

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05-15-2013, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
I think they are looking closer to home - can't see them putting the team in Utica when Peoria was a lot closer.
Would not be surprised to see the team pop up in Washington or Oregon. New territory for the AHL and can open the door next season for more west coast teams.
It's likely that Key Arena is off the list for NBA and NHL, therefore that's a possibility. With Everett 30 miles north and Kent 20 miles south, is it wise?

I've mentioned the situation in Portland before, but with a Memorial Cup berth, is Bill Gallacher going to throw one too many doors open at this point? He's talked about AHL accompanying WHL in the Rose Quarter, but I doubt it right now.

Would the Canucks want to help pay for certain improvements in Salem (which may be the size of Abbotsford at about the same distance from Portland that Abbotsford is from Vancouver) to the Expo arena at the state fairgrounds? I've thrown that out there on the Business board, but a 29-foot high ceiling and at least 5,000 seats... can't be the best option. Unless someone wants to send WHL to Wenatchee in trade for AHL to a current US Division barn, I could hope that the Canucks consider Salem, but I'm not holding my breath.

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05-15-2013, 09:46 PM
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SenorChifles
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Wenatchee just lost their team the Wild, so they could move into that arena - have a great bunch of fans - don't know how many would be willing to shell out more $$$ for the AHL.

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05-16-2013, 12:29 AM
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When Portland was still in the playoffs I had the chance to speak with a Vancouver scout who seemed to think that they will eventually land on the east coast. He said at the time that they were very interested in Abbotsford for next season and were still talking with the city even after it had been reported that all hope was off the table.

What I took out of the conversation was the city and Canucks would be able to eventually work out a deal. The real issue was Calgary finding a location that makes them happy. He said that ownership would “potentially aid” Calgary in that process, but the rhetoric was too much for Vancouver to deal with so they moved on for now. They want favorable travel and more practice time for their prospect so they inspected several buildings in the east including Lowell, Baltimore, Glens Falls and even Utica. I haven’t seen anything reported in local news, but I’ve been told they were incredible impressed with Lowell and held positive discussions with Marty Meehan.

If they are going to make a push eastward like this… It’s going to be for at least two or three seasons. I doubt any city will give a lease for just one season unless your Glens Falls.

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05-16-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wildcat48 View Post
When Portland was still in the playoffs I had the chance to speak with a Vancouver scout who seemed to think that they will eventually land on the east coast. He said at the time that they were very interested in Abbotsford for next season and were still talking with the city even after it had been reported that all hope was off the table.

What I took out of the conversation was the city and Canucks would be able to eventually work out a deal. The real issue was Calgary finding a location that makes them happy. He said that ownership would “potentially aid” Calgary in that process, but the rhetoric was too much for Vancouver to deal with so they moved on for now. They want favorable travel and more practice time for their prospect so they inspected several buildings in the east including Lowell, Baltimore, Glens Falls and even Utica. I haven’t seen anything reported in local news, but I’ve been told they were incredible impressed with Lowell and held positive discussions with Marty Meehan.

If they are going to make a push eastward like this… It’s going to be for at least two or three seasons. I doubt any city will give a lease for just one season unless your Glens Falls.
Trenton would now that the Titans have folded, but I don't think a Canucks affiliate would do well in the Philadelphia market. However, if they got a good enough short term lease then it wouldn't be a terrible situation for them. They would be close to a few major airports, which for a team located on the west coast is a good thing.

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05-16-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
Wenatchee just lost their team the Wild, so they could move into that arena - have a great bunch of fans - don't know how many would be willing to shell out more $$$ for the AHL.
I believe Wenatchee is still exist but not in the NAHL. I think they're going into the BCHL, right?

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05-16-2013, 04:32 PM
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wildcat48
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Trenton would now that the Titans have folded, but I don't think a Canucks affiliate would do well in the Philadelphia market. However, if they got a good enough short term lease then it wouldn't be a terrible situation for them. They would be close to a few major airports, which for a team located on the west coast is a good thing.
I forgot about Trenton. It would be an ideal solution for one season.

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05-16-2013, 05:45 PM
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I believe Wenatchee is still exist but not in the NAHL. I think they're going into the BCHL, right?
They may not. The owner still hasn't come to an agreement with the city on an arena lease, and the mayor is touting lower level hockey. The financing of Town Toyota Center was always a bit of a dumpster fire, and neither side is helping the cause now.

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05-17-2013, 08:42 AM
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pelts35.com
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I forgot about Trenton. It would be an ideal solution for one season.
Had they folded earlier I think the Phantoms would have moved there for one season prior to moving to Lehigh Valley.

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05-17-2013, 11:51 PM
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Would love to see the Canucks put their franchise in Seattle! The Key may not be the best for hockey (hence why the Thunderbirds had their own arena built) but it is there none the less! There is such a strong following of hockey here that it would be a huge success since there will be no NHL here in the future. On the bright side, if a player gets called up, it is a straight shot north on I-5! Now with putting the franchise in Wenatchee, IMO it would bring nothing but failure! There is no big air-port there and you are more in the middle of no where....I have honestly never been to the Toyota Center, but from what I have heard its not really the best.......So there is my 3 cents!

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05-18-2013, 01:18 AM
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I could see Wenatchee maybe working for the WHL in the distant future. The arena is nice and new, and its intimacy reminds me of the Kootenay RecPlex. Travel would be doable: Wenatchee is relatively close tot the other US division teams, and some of the BC teams (Kamloops, PG, Kelowna etc) drive through the Okanogan to get to and from Tri-City/Spokane anyways. It would be a smaller market for the league (32,000 in city, ~50,000 in surrounding area), so it's probably best to let the BCHL operate there and build fan support assuming they can get their lease issues worked out.

Wenatchee makes no sense for AHL. Teams would fly into Seattle and have to go over Stevens Pass, which is no picnic in the winter to say the least. The nearest airports (Yakima, Moses Lake) have limited commercial service, and are at least an hour away; plus, to cut costs the AHL teams don't typically utilize small airports. The typical Abbotsford trip for an AHL team is an all-day flight to Vancouver or Seattle followed by a bus ride of 1 or 2 hours to Abby. Wenatchee would be worse.

KeyArena could make sense as a temporary landing spot for the Canucks for next season while they try to either crack into Abbotsford or set up Rogers Arena for 14-15. Many good reasons have already been mentioned (proximity to Vancouver, market size and interest). The KeyArena blocked out dates for the return of the Sonics that isn't happening now; while those exact dates may not still be reserved or available, the AHL Canucks could easily negotiate their way into the Key since, well, not much happens there during the winter. The primary tenant during hockey season is Seattle University basketball, which routinely draws crowds under 1,000. It's also not an ideal concert venue, evidenced by many high-profile concerts instead going to the Tacoma Dome. The calendar is wide open for hockey.

If I had to bet, especially after reading wildcat's convo with the Canuck, I'd see them settling somewhere back east, in one of the several cities brought up in this thread (Trenton, Lowell, ...)


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05-19-2013, 03:57 PM
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I am not sure why people keep mentioning Lowell. The university took over the arena because they did not want to share it with another hockey team.

I also am not sure who would really want a team for a one year arrangement. The ice and arena would have to be AHL ready and there are not many places that have that. They could go to the Sears Center here in Chicago. That would be interesting, 4 AHL teams within 90 minutes of each other......

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05-19-2013, 06:21 PM
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I am not sure why people keep mentioning Lowell. The university took over the arena because they did not want to share it with another hockey team.

I also am not sure who would really want a team for a one year arrangement. The ice and arena would have to be AHL ready and there are not many places that have that. They could go to the Sears Center here in Chicago. That would be interesting, 4 AHL teams within 90 minutes of each other......
Lowell is back in the conversation because Vancouver has been to the building for an inspection and they've met with the UML folks on a couple of occasions.

The university didn't take over the arena because they didn't want to share. They took over the arena because the City couldn't afford the maintenance of the building. Also, Marty Meehan didn't have an issue with another tenant. He had issue with the Devils and especially Lou Lamoriello. The Devils wanted all the revenue of the building and prime dates leaving UML with scraps, while paying hardly anything in rent. Any new affiliation will be more equitable to both side.


Last edited by wildcat48: 05-19-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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05-19-2013, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Hawk View Post
I am not sure why people keep mentioning Lowell. The university took over the arena because they did not want to share it with another hockey team.

I also am not sure who would really want a team for a one year arrangement. The ice and arena would have to be AHL ready and there are not many places that have that. They could go to the Sears Center here in Chicago. That would be interesting, 4 AHL teams within 90 minutes of each other......
Eh, I doubt it. The Sears Centre appears cursed when it comes to hockey teams. Not to mention that when it's not packed, it seems like an absolute cavern, so not exactly conducive to a good atmosphere.

Plus, most hockey fans in the area stayed away when the Hawks were on TV or prefered to go to Wolves games when the opportunity arose, so the Express had to deal with a lot of competing hockey alternatives. It was convenient as hell for me, as I live ten minutes down the street from that place, but it didn't seem like the interest was there for a third major team.

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05-20-2013, 12:48 PM
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Here are my pros and cons for each I've the cities I've seen mentioned:

Seattle-Tacoma
Pros: Big market, good sized arena looking for a tenant, close to Vancouver
Cons: Would compete with long-established WHL team, arena is outdated, lots of travel within the league

Utica
Pros: Local investors ready to support team, good short-term fix (like Glens Falls), travel would be easier within the league due to proximity to other AHL teams
Cons: Small facility in need of upgrades, no commercial airport within an hour's drive

Lowell
Pros: Newer facility, one-time successful AHL market, close to several AHL teams and reasonably close to major airport (Boston)
Cons: Facility is owned and operated by UMass-Lowell, which could give team less than ideal home dates, opposite coast from Vancouver

Trenton
Pros: Arena is still in great shape, reasonably close to major airports (Newark and Philadelphia), had prior success as an ECHL market
Cons: Travel would be tougher compared to being based in New England or New York, market hasn't been successful in nearly 10 years

Vancouver
Pros: Easy for call ups, could whet appetite of fans for future in Abbotsford
Cons: Competition with WHL's Giants, logjam of dates between concerts, Canucks and Giants, travel with the rest of the AHL, approval from the Heat

If this was a year later, I'd actually throw Erie, PA into the mix. The Otters lease expires next year (2014) and it's rumored the ECCCA is trying to bring in an AHL or ECHL team to prepare for a possible departure. I personally think the AHL is a huge longshot, though.

If I were to guess where they'd land... I'd actually go with Utica. Travel budgets skyrocket. The less hotel stays, the better. They could operate cheaply there compared to being on an "island" in Vancouver. I'm sure that's why Peoria was tossed out since it's not nearly as close to other AHL cities as they would be in Utica.


Last edited by HF_Rangers: 05-20-2013 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Added last paragraph.
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05-20-2013, 02:36 PM
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I heard yesterday at Bruins game that Lowell is now the front-runner.

Lowell can work if promoted - the Devils let the franchise die.


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Here are my pros and cons for each I've the cities I've seen mentioned:

Seattle-Tacoma
Pros: Big market, good sized arena looking for a tenant, close to Vancouver
Cons: Would compete with long-established WHL team, arena is outdated, lots of travel within the league

Utica
Pros: Local investors ready to support team, good short-term fix (like Glens Falls), travel would be easier within the league due to proximity to other AHL teams
Cons: Small facility in need of upgrades, no commercial airport within an hour's drive

Lowell
Pros: Newer facility, one-time successful AHL market, close to several AHL teams and reasonably close to major airport (Boston)
Cons: Facility is owned and operated by UMass-Lowell, which could give team less than ideal home dates, opposite coast from Vancouver

Trenton
Pros: Arena is still in great shape, reasonably close to major airports (Newark and Philadelphia), had prior success as an ECHL market
Cons: Travel would be tougher compared to being based in New England or New York, market hasn't been successful in nearly 10 years

Vancouver
Pros: Easy for call ups, could whet appetite of fans for future in Abbotsford
Cons: Competition with WHL's Giants, logjam of dates between concerts, Canucks and Giants, travel with the rest of the AHL, approval from the Heat

If this was a year later, I'd actually throw Erie, PA into the mix. The Otters lease expires next year (2014) and it's rumored the ECCCA is trying to bring in an AHL or ECHL team to prepare for a possible departure. I personally think the AHL is a huge longshot, though.

If I were to guess where they'd land... I'd actually go with Utica. Travel budgets skyrocket. The less hotel stays, the better. They could operate cheaply there compared to being on an "island" in Vancouver. I'm sure that's why Peoria was tossed out since it's not nearly as close to other AHL cities as they would be in Utica.

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05-20-2013, 04:06 PM
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paul-laus
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I heard yesterday at Bruins game that Lowell is now the front-runner.

Lowell can work if promoted - the Devils let the franchise die.
To play up the angle that the team did well as the Lock Monsters and it was the Devils franchise that ruined pro hockey in the city would be inaccurate as far as I can remember.
Even as the Lock Monsters franchise, I recall the rare good Saturday or Sunday afternoon attendance figure when Providence was in town and periodically Worcester. But they drew flies for nearly every other regional opponent including Springfield, Bridgeport, Hartford, and Portland. If it was a week day game, they could expect attendance in the range of 2200-2600 and that's being nice. Tsongas arena capacity for hockey was in the high 7000 range as I recall and while the U-Mass Lowell didn't do poorly attendance wise, AHL hockey did as both the Lock Monsters and the Devils.....

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05-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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If the Canucks put their prospects in Lowell for a season, or I guess anywhere else for that matter (That isn't Rogers Arena), would the team have to make arrangements to help cover the losses that low attendance could/would bring? I suppose it's all hypothetical until we see an agreement in place.

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05-20-2013, 05:10 PM
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I disagree WRT Trenton as a bad market. They were in the Kelly Cup finals in 2005.

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